Terry O'Reilly Pitches Himself - But That's OK

A bit swamped here, but a quick note on the latest Terry O'Reilly "Age of Persuasion" show on CBC last week.

The framing for this episode was legendary ad man Albert Lasker's famous "contract". Lasker -described by many as the Father of Modern Advertising - was the first to put forward the idea that advertising would be acceptable to radio listeners or TV viewers on the central condition that it offered them some value in exchange for their attention.

It's a simple but absolutely effective concept, and one of pivotal importance in the success of advertising.

While I was listening to Terry's piece last weekend, I was a bit surprised to hear him illustrating his point by using several examples of advertising drawn from his own agency's body of work. He even tangentially referred to his team at one point as examples of "the best minds in the business".

For just a moment, this apparently blatant self-promotion seemed like a jarring note in an otherwise seamless slice of intelligent radio. That's just unacceptable, Terry (I thought): you can't be using your CBC airtime to pitch your own firm.

But then I paused, and had to smile. Terry's upholding both the letter and the spirit of Lasker's contract.

Yes, he's boosting his own firm's work (on the CBC, even - a national network that doesn't carry advertising) - but he's doing it in context and wrapping it up in such a terrific, informative, entertaining piece of radio that the listener draws a great deal of value from the work.

It's not just appropriate and acceptable - given the context of the story he was telling, it was actually meta-appropriate. 'S funny.

Still no podcast though, darn it. What's up with that?

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